Omotoke Fatoki is a young, vibrant and energetic travel blogger and consultant with a voracious passion for promoting tourism in Nigeria. Doing this, she gathers data on needs across all rural communities in Nigeria to foster the accessibility of data to Individuals/Organisations that can provide solutions to such needs in relation to SDGs. In this interview, she talks about how she is leveraging her extensive travel experiences to help bring social development to rural areas in the country.
How It Began
I had always been an adventurous being. At the beginning, I had no concise plans about my adventures. I only did all I did as ways of escape. But, as time went on, things began to change. I started understanding the industry better, seeing grey areas that I could exploit and make something out of. I decided to take it upon myself to make a change in the Tourism industry. I saw the need to work on changing the narrative of tourism in Nigeria, creating safe travel platforms for ladies to travel alone and also demystifying the stereotypes about tribalism that run rife in our society.
To push and achieve this vision, I picked myself up and did a nationwide tour. I travelled to all the 36 states in Nigeria, lived with the locals from different tribes and cultures, trying to understand how they live and also see life from their points of view. It took me a couple of months, after starting out to see what the bigger picture was. It has been an interesting ride, but I must say I’m proud of all that I’ve been able to achieve so far.
A strong determination to make a positive impact in my country has always been the driving force for what I do. During most of my trips, one thing I always notice is how most local communities are in such bad shape, and even do not get to receive charitable donations or aid, mostly because there is no proper database to guide philanthropic support.
This fired me up to build something to tackle this problem. I want to be the bridging gap between the “haves and the haves not” across the country; helping provide the ‘haves’ with data and resources to truly bring about sustainable development.
I’ve had quite a few amazing milestones. For starters, I got interviewed on BBC Radio after my feat of completing the thirty-six states movement. I also got interviewed on Rubbin’ Minds, hosted by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and aired on Channels TV, and then, I got my first magazine feature in the reputable Genevieve Magazine.
I was recognized as the Best Travel Personality of the year 2020 at the Nigerian Tourism Awards. I was also recognized as one of the Top 100 Tourism Promoters in Nigeria.
Then, for Social Impact, I have been able to leverage my deep-rooted experience in Travel & Tourism to help social development focused organizations and philanthropists bring positive impact to communities I have explored. I was able to help facilitate a water project for a community, get scholarships and school materials for kids in schools in Lagos State. Most of these were made possible by the support of organizations such as The Purpose Foundation and Black Kintsugi Foundation. So, I’m giving a huge shout-out to them.
One major lesson I have picked up over the years is that determination and consistency are very critical to growth and accomplishments. I have also learned never to undermine anybody, you never know who is watching.
On Women Empowerment
“A woman with a voice is by definition, a strong woman.” – Melinda Gates.
I am passionate about creating a safe space for women to travel without being scared. I want women to be able to challenge the narratives and go for it a hundred percent. This is why I created a space to enable young women to travel with me for a short period of time on a fully funded trip just to inspire them to know that they can start little and ignite their passion.
For me, I am an Advocate for Gender Equality. To achieve this, I believe opportunities should be provided equally, regardless of gender. The opportunities shouldn’t be based on biological construct but rather on capabilities. I know women who are excelling in the so-called fields dominated by men, so every woman can go into any industry and make a difference.
My ability to break barriers and achieve what I set my mind on is my spark. I can cross rivers, jump through burning flames, climb the highest rocks, just to get something done. I literally can travel and break barriers.
I tell women to find something that they’re passionate about, keep their interest locked in it and remain consistent. It’s really in the little doings. Start from where you are, and with the little you have. Take me for example, I was a girl from a downtown ghetto in Lagos but look at me now on The Spark Magazine. lol.
Omotoke Fatoki is a young travel blogger/consultant, a project manager and a volunteer social worker. She provides travel information and assistance for travel enthusiasts for easy and beautiful travel experiences. She also works with organizations and NGOs as a project manager to provide sustainable solutions to communities in relation to the SDGoals 2030.